You can assign licenses to single or multiple assets, individually or in batches.

Though licensing is applicable to solutions as well as ESX/ESXi hosts and vCenter Server, solutions licensing management is too variable and, therefore, specific to each solution to be discussed in general terms. For information about licensing a specific solution, see the documentation for that solution.


After you assign a license to a host, the software might update the license report before the license assignment operation is complete. If the host becomes disconnected immediately after you assign the license, the license report might not accurately reflect the host license state. The report might show the host as licensed, even though the license assignment operation is not yet complete. When the host is reconnected to a vCenter Server system, the license assignment operation continues, and the host becomes licensed as shown in the report.


From a vSphere Client session that is connected to a vCenter Server system, select Home > Licensing.


Click Manage vSphere Licenses.


Click Next to go to the Assign Licenses page.


Click the ESX, vCenter Server , or Solutions tab to display the available assets.


Click Show Unlicensed assets, Show licensed assets, or Show all.


In the Asset window, select one or more assets to license.

To select multiple assets, use Ctrl-click or Shift-click.


In the Product window, select an appropriate license key and click Next.

The capacity of the license key must be greater than or equal to the sum of the asset CPUs.


(Optional) If you are not ready to remove any license keys, click Next to skip the Remove License Keys page and click Finish to save your changes.

In this example, Shift-click to select two 2-CPU ESX hosts and then assign a vSphere Enterprise license key to the hosts. Before the assignment, the license key has an available capacity of 98 CPUs. After the assignment, the license key has an available capacity of 94 CPUs. The pop-up tool tip lists the product features included in the vSphere Enterprise license edition.

Screen shot showing the license assignment window.